Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fair races live up to their expectations

Fair races live up to their expectations

By Matthew J. Sullivan

The grandstands were packed this past Friday and Saturday night at Redwood Acres Raceway for the annual Redwood Acres Fair Classic. As has been the case in previous years, the Fair Classic brought out a number of drivers who have not raced at the Acres full-time or in some cases at all this season. This made for some electrifying racing and unluckily several incidents.

The limited street stock division had its highest car count in several years thanks in part to several Oregon drivers who made the trek to race at the Acres; Bob Barnes, Bob Brumbrack, Dan Fouts, Gary Perry, Doug Risely and Bobby Wright. Their attendance for this weekend’s racing was very much appreciated by everyone at Redwood Acres Raceway. Wright won the Friday night trophy dash over Risely, Kenny Demello and Bob Barnes. The heat race victory went to Barnes ahead of Fergy Ferguson, Demello, Risely and Perry.

Stan Young held the lead early on in the main event but by lap five he faced the challenge of both Fouts and Demello. On lap seven, Fouts went to the high side on Young. Demello found a groove inside of Young and the trio went three-wide into turn three. Demello came out with the lead with Fouts second and Young third. The rest of the main event was nip and tuck between Demello and Fouts. It appeared as though Fouts had the faster machine, but he was unable to find the speed necessary to get by Demello and at the checkered flag it was Demello the victor over Fouts, Wright, Perry and Ferguson.

The starting lineup for all of the divisions on Saturday night were determined by the results of the races on the previous night, only inverted. Risely won the Saturday night dash followed by Barnes, Wright and Demello. Risely followed the dash win with a victory in the heat race beating out Fouts, Wright, Young and Ferguson. Brumbrack took the lead early on in the feature event before the caution fell on lap two when Risely nailed the turn four wall severely damaging his right front and putting an end to his evening.

After the restart, on lap eight Brumbrack’s car lost power going down the back stretch giving the lead to Young with Barnes following into second. Two laps later, Barnes touched Young between turns three and four sending Young spinning into the infield. Barnes was sent to the rear of the field allowing Wright to take the helm. From that point on it was all Wright as he was able to cruise away to victory over Demello, Fouts, Ferguson and Barnes.

Craig Baker won the Friday night mini stock trophy dash over Brian McIntosh, Brian Murrell, Jr. and Scott Baker. The Baker brothers dueled in the heat race with Scott beating Craig while Murrell, Jr., McIntosh and Norm Carmichael. In the main event, it was Craig beating out Scott this time. Murrell, Jr. took third, Steve Smith fourth and McIntosh fifth. Scott Baker started off Saturday night with the dash win over McIntosh, Craig Baker and Murrell, Jr. McIntosh held off Craig Baker to win the heat race while Scott Baker, Murrell, Jr. and Mike Weekley. The Bakers dueled once again in the future and this time it was Scott beating Craig for the win. McIntosh, Len Bowman took third and fourth while Smith and Murrell, Jr. crossed the line in a virtual dead heat for fifth.

Real stock trophy dash honors on Friday evening went to Ryan Walters over Casey Mitchell, Bill Middleton who was driving Jim Redd’s car for the weekend and Dustin Walters. Nick Green held off Roger Linn, Pat Conway, Middleton and Mitchell for the heat race victory. One of the more scary incidents occurred early on in the main event when Ryan Robinson lost his right front wheel in turn four. The wheel rolled off the track then back on in front of Dustin Walters and Conway who both made contact with the wheel sending it bouncing approximately 20 feet in the air. Thankfully the wheel rolled safely and harmlessly into the infield and neither Walters or Conway suffered extensive damage to their cars. Middleton held off Ryan Walters for the win in the feature while Green, Linn and Conway rounded out the top five.

Dustin Walters started off Saturday night with a trophy dash victory over Middleton, Mitchell and Ryan Walters. The win in the heat race was taken by Ryan Walters followed by Robinson, Middlton, Mitchell and Dustin Walters. Ryan Walters chalked up another main event victory in 2009 beating Mitchell, Linn, Green and Middleton.

Carrie Cook beat Oscar Koskinen to the line in the roadrunner dash on Friday with Jimmy Murray and Bill Snow rounded out the finish. Nick Bundy claimed the heat race win over Cook, Koskinen, Charlie Anderson and Murray. Koskinen took the main event victory over Bundy, Anderson, Murray and Cook. On Saturday night, Bundy found himself the trophy dash winner over Murray, Cook and Koskinen. Anderson proved victorious in the heat race over Murray, Bundy, Koskinen and Erik Mendes. Bundy was able to withstand and fend off a furious charge my Mendes to win the main event. Murray took third while Anderson was able to beat Koskinen back to the finish line for fourth.

The familiar battle in the thunder roadster division between Paul Peeples, Jr. and David Henderson resumed in the Friday night dash as Peeples beat Henderson, Robert Miller and Tommy Payne to win. Bill Bradbury won the first heat race Chris Sarvinski, Dave McMurray, Jim Rich and Dan Browne. Peeples took the second heat over Henderson, Brandon Barnwell driving Donn Cole’s car, Mike Ward and Payne. Peeples grabbed the lead early on in the main event and held off a late race charge by Henderson to take the narrow victory while Miller finished third, Payne fourth and Mark Arroyo fifth. Saturday night’s dash win was claimed by Henderson over Payne, Peeples and Miller. Arroyo won heat one over Rob Nelson, Browne, McMurray and Belinda Ward while heat two was taken by Chris Sarvinski ahead of Henderson, Peeples, Mike Ward and Barnwell. Peeples was able to take the main event on the night over Miller, Arroyo, Barnwell and Payne.

The sportsman division saw the surprise return of a West Coast stock car racing legend. Two time super stock track champion, Jim Walker made his first start in a local division at the Acres since 1990. Unfortunately prior to the events on Friday night, one of Walker’s long-time on-track rivals, Larry Pries severely injured his thumb after getting involved in a wreck in practice that was started by a flat left-rear tire on Brandon Barnwell’s machine. Pries was unable to race both Friday and Saturday night.

In the Friday trophy dash, Jerry Peterson narrowly beat Dennis DelBiaggio to the line for the victory while Brandon Barnwell and Joe McDonald followed behind. The first heat race went to Lissa Uselton over Al Acuna, Preston O’Dell, Ken Hallis and Ryan Peeples. Walker won the second heat to the delight of the crowed over Aaron Byers, McDonald, Peterson and Barnwell. The main event saw several incidents in the early stages. In fact, it wasn’t until a third restart on that the cars were able to accrue more than a single lap. McDonald was able to stave off a last corner charge by Walker to take his first main event of the season, making him the seventh different main event winner in as many races. Delbiaggio placed third, Marcelli fourth and Peterson fifth.

McDonald returned on Saturday to take the trophy dash victory over Delbiaggio, Peterson and Marcelli. Peeples took the win in heat one over Shawn Craig, Acuna, Uselton and Kavin Conn. The second heat race went to McDonald ahead of DelBiaggio, Marcelli, Peterson and Walker. McDonald and DelBiaggio carried on their fight in the main event with DelBiaggio able to withstand several late race restarts and beat McDonald for his second main event of the season, breaking the string of different winners. Byers narrowly edged out Walker for third while Marcelli took fifth.

Racing at Redwood Acres Raceway goes on hiatus for two weeks before returning Saturday July 11th.

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